’ main couple, Ross and Rachel, went through many ups and downs, prompting many to wonder "do Ross and Rachel end up together?" — but as viewers knew all along, they were bound to end up together. Their relationship was hinted at from the very beginning, with Rachel joining the group in the pilot episode after running away from her wedding, and Ross making it evident that, after all this time, he still had a crush on her. Ross and Rachel’s relationship was the main focus of the series for a long time, though they (thankfully) made way for , and Phoebe and Mike to have their own moments. Here's their relationship timeline, and an answer to the question "when do Ross and Rachel get together?".
So, when do Ross and Rachel get together? Ross and Rachel’s relationship is a recurrent topic of discussion between many, with some supporting the pair while others feel Rachel deserved much better. The truth is that this couple was the source of many of most iconic moments, such as the “” debate, and Ross saying Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s at the altar. Their relationship was so unstable that many wondered "do Ross and Rachel get together?" and it’s easy to forget some moments that happened between breakups and discussions. The first seasons were heavily focused on Ross and Rachel’s “will they, won’t they” situation, their time together, and all the mess that happened after they broke up. Although other for years before the events of the pilot episode, their relationship didn’t start until they reunited years later.
Ross and Rachel met in high school, and even though Ross was in a higher grade, that didn’t stop him from developing a crush on her, prompting the question "do Ross and Rachel end up together?", though he never really made a move. Rachel lost touch with Ross and Monica until she ran into Monica a year prior to the pilot episode, and she later moved in with her after running away from her wedding. Though on her in the first episodes, their relationship blossomed in the fifth episode. Here's the answer to the question "when do Ross and Rachel get together?".
Ross and Rachel (Finally) Dating (seasons 2-3)"The One Where Ross And Rachel… You Know” (season 2) - And it happened at the museum.”The One Where Old Yeller Dies” (season 2) - Ross and Rachel say “I love you” for the first time."The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break” (season 3) - After a failed anniversary celebration, they argue over Rachel's friendship with her coworker, Mark, which prompts her to say they should “take a break.””The One With The Morning After” (season 3) - Ross sleeps with Chloe, the girl from the copy place. Rachel wants to get back with him, but after learning what he did, they get into a heated argument, and the .
Post Break-Up (seasons 3-6)"The One At The Beach” (season 3) - Ross is dating Bonnie, Phoebe’s friend. Rachel confesses to Ross she still has feelings for him, and they kiss.”The One With The Jellyfish: (season 4) - They get back together. However, they end up arguing and breaking up... again.”The One With Joey’s Dirty Day” (season 4) - Ross and Rachel finally get along again, and she asks him to take Emily, her boss's niece, to the theater so she can go out with Joshua. That’s the beginning of the Ross/Emily relationship.”The One With All The Haste” (season 4) - Ross and Emily announce their engagement.”The One With Ross’ Wedding, Part 1” (season 4) - After admitting she’s still in love with Ross, she flies to London to stop the wedding.”” (season 4) - She decides not to tell Ross what she really feels... and he ends up saying her name instead of Emily’s at the altar.”The One With The Yeti” (season 5) - Ross chooses his friends over Emily and ends his marriage over the phone.”The One In Vegas, Part 2” (season 5) - Ross and Rachel get incredibly drunk and get married in Vegas.”The One With Joey’s Porsche” (season 6) - After much trouble, they finally sign the divorce.
Post-Divorce (seasons 6-7)”The One With Monica’s Thunder” (season 7) - After dating other people for a while, they almost sleep together again as a “bonus night.”
Ross and Rachel Have a Baby.”The One After ‘I Do’” (season 8) - .”The One With The Red Sweater” (season 8) - It’s revealed that Ross is the father of Rachel’s baby.”The One Where Rachel Is Late” (season 8) - Rachel gives birth to their daughter, Emma.”The One Where Monica Sings” (season 9) - Ross and Rachel argue over their dating lives, and Rachel moves back with Joey.
Ross and Rachel's "break" debate ran throughout most of , but the cast confirmed that the couple was "on a break." During the reunion, interviewer James Corden asked the infamous question to the cast, and they each agreed that, yes, Ross and Rachel were on a break. The break began in season 3 when Ross became insecure about . She ends up having to work on their anniversary, and Ross tries to surprise her at the office, disrupting Rachel's busy day, because she's busy. Ross blames her hunky coworker Mark, and she proclaims that the two need a break from each other, leaving Ross to bring someone home from the club. He decides not to tell her the next day when she wants to get back together, but the girl in question is roommates with Gunther and the truth comes to light. "The break" obviously meant something different to both parties: Rachel probably just wanted space, but Ross took it as a full-blown breakup. But they were unequivocally on one.
During , David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston revealed that they had crushes on each other while filming the show. Schwimmer was the first to spill the beans, admitting that he had a during the debut season. Aniston confirmed that she was attracted to her co-star, too, though their mutual attraction may not have been at the same time. Schwimmer went on to say, So while nothing happened between the two, it's interesting to know that Ross and Rachel's chemistry might've been just as palpable behind the scenes.
These on-set missed moments and signals mirror Ross and Rachel's trajectory perfectly. , and then it’s all about Ross and Rachel again as she’s offered a job in Paris, and Ross realizes he’s still in love with her. In the series finale, Ross chases after her and tells her (at the airport) that he still loves her. He goes back to his apartment, believing Rachel is on her way to Paris, only to find out that she got off the plane. Ross and Rachel end up together, and it’s assumed they got married at some point. These two had, by far, the most complicated relationship in .
During HBO Max's reunion special — which was initially set to air at the launch of the streamer in spring 2020, but was delayed due to COVID-19 — Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer shared some new details regarding their famous onscreen relationship. When asked the cast whether any of them had dated off-screen, Aniston and Schwimmer revealed they both had crushes on each other during the early seasons of . However, it never blossomed into a full-fledged relationship because they were always dating someone else. Schwimmer likened their situation to "," though the pair always respected the other's boundaries. What's more, Aniston admitted that the actors just ended up putting all their love and adoration for each other into their onscreen relationship. This tidbit makes Ross and Rachel's journey all the more interesting when watching it in hindsight.
All of that being said, both Ross and Rachel had numerous other partners throughout the show, prompting many to wonder do Ross and Rachel end up together. Over the course of , Rachel had 17 boyfriends including Ross (). She started off the series escaping her wedding to Dr. Barry Farber, and while she and Ross got off to a great start directly afterward, they broke up so many times that there were bound to be people in between. Some of these boyfriends became fan-favorites, like her much younger coworker Tag Jones and the Italian-speaking Paolo. However, she was always meant for Ross.
Ross similarly had a slew of relationships over the course of , and famously, marriages too. Including Rachel, Ross had 12 girlfriends, with three of them being promoted to wives. Carol is by far Ross' most memorable marriage, as she had a son with him and moved on to dating her partner Susan directly after coming out to Ross. Then, of course, there's Emily, who had a hard time staying with him after he uttered Rachel's name at the altar. Regardless, these relationships were meant to set up the tension necessary to create Ross and Rachel's will-they-or-won't-they dynamic. So while Ross and Rachel do end up together in the end, these extra relationships were necessary for ' dramatic tension.